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UNESCO adds 42 treasures to World Heritage List, including another in a Midwest state

  • Ohio gained its first World Heritage site, becoming the 25th in the United States and one of about 1,000 sites around the world.
  • The African nation of Rwanda had its first two inscriptions on the World Heritage List.
  • Three new ‘Sites of Memory’ — places in which an event occurred that a nation and its people, or certain communities wish to memorialize, according to UNESCO — were added during the session.

The World Heritage List has designated 42 global treasures as UNESCO World Heritage sites, according to a statement released Monday

Since its founding in 1972, the World Heritage Convention has inscribed sites of “outstanding universal value,” and after the 45th session held this month, the total of sites now stands at 1,199. 

The inclusion of Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks — Ohio’s first World Heritage site and the 25th in the United States — marks the first addition of a cultural site to the World Heritage List since the U.S. rejoined UNESCO earlier this year, according to the Newark Advocate, part of USA TODAY Network.

Only countries that sign the convention creating the World Heritage Committee and list can nominate sites and former President Donald Trump officially withdrew the U.S. in 2017, citing “anti-Israel bias” due to UNESCO’s decision to recognize Palestine. Funding to the organization was cut off under the Obama administration after it voted to include Palestine as a member in 2011, so Trump’s decision was mostly symbolic, USA TODAY previously reported.

The Octagon Earthworks in Newark, Ohio, pictured July 30, 2019, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2023. Moundbuilder's Country Club, an 18-hole golf course, has been leasing property with the Earthworks from the Ohio History Connection.
Steam fog lifts up from the mounds at Mound City Group on a cool summer morning.
A Hopewell hawk‚ Äôs claw effigy can be seen at the entrance to Ferris-Wright Park in Dublin, Ohio.


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